Cautionary tale features a fictionalized and highly exaggerated take on the use of marijuana. A trio of drug dealers lead innocent teenagers to become addicted to "reefer" cigarettes by holding wild parties with jazz music.
Louis J. Gasnier
"It's all a LIE!!" or so screams our hero, DETECTIVE JACK PERRY. We meet Jack in the prologue as he interrupts a telecast of a movie review program. He claims REEFER MADNESS, the classic ... See full summary »
Connie Sue Cook
A wealthy man invites the local wealthy bachelors over for a puppet show about men who covet another man's wife. The puppeteer is actually a witch and gives the men nightmares about what could happen if they date the lady of the house.
For Balduin, going out to beer parties with his fellow students and fighting out disputes at the tip of the sword have lost their charms. He wants to find love; but how would he, a ... See full summary »
Elizza La Porta,
This film tells the tale of the Harper Affair, in which young Jimmy Harper finds his life of promise turn into a life of debauchery and murder thanks to the new drug menace marijuana. Along the way he receives help from his girlfriend Mary and Jesus himself, but always finds himself in the arms of the Reefer Man and the rest of the denizens of the Reefer Den. Written by
The process of creating the dances was elaborate, complex and highly collaborative, involving everyone from the director to the production designer, costume designer and director of photography. Styles of dance ranged from swing to Bob Fosse-inspired jazz, Bollywood, hip-hop and Las Vegas-type show dancing. More than 400 dancers were auditioned in order to find the 30 used in the final production. See more »
During the song "The Stuff" Ana Gasteyer looks out the window and sing the line "Rapes Me". Before she looks out the window, her cigarette is in her left hand. It then switches to the right as shes singing out the window. When we see her again back inside the window, the cigarette is back in her left hand. See more »
Jimmy, is something wrong?
Why? Should something be wrong? Stop hounding me! Stop... hounding... me!
I didn't think I was, I... Oh, it's me, isn't it? You don't love me anymore. You haven't even tried to kiss in almost a week.
Kiss? Is *that* what you want? Let me show *you* a few new moves!
[Jimmy pushes Mary down and gags her with his tongue]
That was your tongue! Jimmy Harper, what's come over you?
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This film is so much better than the 1936 trash-fest that no mere comparison can do it justice. Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical is a smart, funny, and well performed parody of American paranoia, using the original Reefer Madness plot as a launching point to satirize McCarthy, fundamentalism, race, and the obsession with privilege, wealth and 'breeding' which have so sadly marred our history.
Unlike the original, nearly everything in this production is done right. The likable characters are the good ones, and the villains are truly despicable. The addition of a decent set of amusing tunes helps to keep the plot moving along (one of the biggest failures of the original film was the inconsistent and often painfully drawn out plot), and the use of some talented Broadway players (Christian Campbell and Kristen Bell are particularly fun to watch) as well as a script guided by rational thought as opposed to ignorance (as was the case in 1936), all make this film unusually entertaining and funny (the author generally dislikes straight comedies and has very high standards for musicals).
(Sorry for all the parenthetical statements) Most of you are probably aware of the plot, so I will summarize what distinguishes this from the original rather than simply summarizing the film. This version of Reefer Madness is less a paranoid right-wing attack on marijuana use than an amusing musical which compares the pot-scares that inspired the original film in 1936 to McCarthyism, fundamentalism, racism and various other ethical pathologies America has faced in its history (and today). The film does not promote marijuana use, but does play up the absurdity of the arguments that make it appear to be more harmful than, for example, cigarettes, alcohol, heroin, etc - all of which have been or were, at one time, used by the drug's most vocal enemies.
Jimmy Harper, in his voyage from an all-American high school kid to a dope-fiend, meets Satan, Jesus, Joan of Arc, the undead, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt along the way, ending up in a lot of trouble with the law. Spurning his high school sweet heart and terrifying his family, Jimmy sinks deeper and deeper into a pot-crazed state of insatiable lust, violence and - of course - jazz. Finally, this version ends differently from the 1936 film - but I won't give away the conclusion.
For me, giving a musical comedy a 7 is some of the highest praise I can give (The Wizard of Oz, Tommy and Singin in the Rain get 9s), so, if you're into this kind of thing, you really should check this one out.
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